More Hell with Dell

  Andrew P 17:26 03 Jun 2003

As promised, here is an update as to what has happened so far since my last posting on Hell with Dell (click here to view it):

18/05/03: Still no response to emails sent to Debjani (click the above link for details of these), so sent another email at 3:41PM.

19/05/03: Tried to track progress (again) of swap computer via Dell website using reference number given by Debjani on 13/05/03. The website STILL said that my reference number didn’t exist and that it couldn’t be located. An email was sent to Debjani telling her of this. I mentioned that I needed to track the computer so I knew when to be at home to accept delivery.

27/05/03: Email received from Debjani telling me the specifications of the replacement computer. These were exactly the same as the ones sent to me in an email on 13/05/03 (again, use the link above for details of this email). There was still no sound card listed and the graphics card was still the MX420 model. The only difference was that, in this email, a model number was given for the monitor. This confirmed what I thought – The monitor was the Dell E151FP – The same as my current model, and an analogue one, not digital as Debjani had said! She also included the following at the bottom of the email:

“There were certain problem with the previous order placed.Therefore the order is rebooked with referance number:***********.It will take another 10 to 15 working days.I'll keep you updated on this.The old system will be collected in and around 20/06/2003.Apologize for the inconvenience caused.Regarding the quality of the system,it has enhanced features than the previous computer.”

Enhanced features? What enhanced features? As mentioned above, the computer was exactly the same as the one offered previously. Plus, the only difference between this computer and the one I have at the moment is that it has a slightly better processor – 2.4GHz instead of 2.0GHz. The 2.4GHz processor is the cheapest one Dell currently supply anyway, and the additional power is wasted due to the low quality of the other components. I mentioned all of this when I replied to the email later that day. I also mentioned that I was within my rights under the sale of goods act 1979 to receive a refund of the price paid, and that I required an urgent response to the email as I thought this had gone on far too long already.

29/05/03: I tried phoning my credit card company, they said they couldn’t do anything about it because Dell was too big a company, and that I had left it too long. I had still had no reply to the above email so I sent it again – got a reply 15 minutes later saying:

“There was a problem with memory.I had ordered for 1024MB plus 128MB extra which the system wouldn't support.Now it has been changed to 1024MB.The video and the sound card are onboard and they will support the HK695 speaker.The monitor has digital output.The refund won't be possible now as a swap is already booked.”

This adds another concern to the ones I already have about the swap computer – according to this email the computer can’t support more than 1,024MB Ram. Upon a visit to the Dell website, I found that the 8250 series of computers are listed as being compatible with up to 1,536MB memory. So not only was Debjani not telling the truth, the 8250 computers support less RAM than the 8200 series that I currently have (The 8200 series support up to 2,048MB RAM). Also in the email she sent she says that the video and the sound card are on-board. The nVidia GeForce4 MX420 Card is NOT onboard, so that was another ‘lie’. Also, now that I know what sound card is included, I can safely say that this is ANOTHER component which is not up to the standard of the original – a Voyetra Turtle Beach Santa Cruz standalone sound card.

  Andrew P 17:27 03 Jun 2003

She then goes onto say that the monitor does have Digital output, which it doesn’t. I ought to know, as she is talking about the model I currently have. This is even confirmed on the Dell website. And finally, she says that the refund won’t be possible as the swap is already booked, even though she booked the swap herself and without my knowledge. Isn’t there something illegal going on here? I told her all of this in the reply sent to her that night. I made clear that the graphics card and sound card weren’t acceptable as they weren’t up to the standard of my current ones. Once again I said that the E151FP monitor wasn’t digital and that I wanted a digital monitor as that is what I was told I would be receiving. I said that if suitable components couldn’t be provided (e.g. a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card or higher, digital monitor and nVidia GeForce4 Ti4200 graphics card or higher) then I would like to invoke my rights under the sale of goods act 1979 and receive a full refund of £2107.25. I also mentioned a Dell Dimension 8300 computer which was reviewed in the latest issue of PC Pro (Sorry, PC Advisor!) – You must use the e-value code 200-D52REV to view it on the Dell website – and if a 3.5” Floppy Drive and Office XP Small Business edition were added to it (as I paid for these with my original computer) then it would cater for all my needs and I would accept it with no trouble. Plus, it would certainly be more preferable for Dell to provide me with this computer instead of a refund of £2107.25, as it only costs £1700. As of today (03.06.03), I have received no reply to this email.

02.06.03: When I arrived home this evening, I discovered 3 boxes waiting for me – the swap computer! It turns out that it was delivered this morning and accepted by my father as I wasn’t at home. Needless to say I wasn’t impressed – the monitor box had E151FP on the side – the analogue model! The graphics card and sound card are still the budget, low-quality models aswell. I am appalled at Dell’s (lack of) service – no replies to emails, no promised phone calls, no order confirmation by post, low quality components, no updates of the computer’s progress, and reference/order numbers that simply don’t exist. I bought a £2100+ computer from Dell because of their so-called award winning service, support and reliability, and this is what I get from one of the most well-known computer companies in the world?

I will be sending another recorded delivery letter to Dell soon, highlighting my concerns.

Sorry about the length of my posts, but I promise that when this is sorted, my postings will be much shorter! :o)

Andrew P.

  soy 18:02 03 Jun 2003

The spec of this new machine seems to be of higher spec than your old one overall, so why are you compaining?

  soy 18:12 03 Jun 2003

PS, A machine then, would only cost a fraction of what you've paid, Today. As prices have become more competitive.

Honestly, I think your only entitled to the exact same spec machine that your bought and any upgrades is a bonus.

And also, I don't think you'll get the full refund that you want as its been over 2 years now. The spec you have got is the same as your original machine if not better. You should be happy with it and stop asking for a higher spec machine/components you didn't even pay for!

  soy 18:12 03 Jun 2003

Sorry, this is just my opinion!

  target 09:35 04 Jun 2003

Andrew, if you still have the old machine why not take out the original (and presumably good elements soundcard etc) and attach the newer inferior items to the return computer.

I feel that after two years of use you will never get a replcement machine out of them. But if you feel you have a genuine grievance take them to the small claims court. I took IKEA to small claims court and had a good day out.

My hard learnt lesson (problems with MESH) is for my next machine I shall go to my local independent supplier, G Squared (Reading) and have them build a machine to my spec, using components I specify. Believe it or not it's cheaper and they are on my doorstep.

Overall it's only when we, the customer start to vote with our feet that the bigger players start to take notice. They have to as their takings and profits start to slip and shareholders get grumpy.

The tragedy of it all is that customer care and service is not rocket science, but customer care is the "cinderella dept" of the company and invariably underfunded.


  bfoc 16:23 04 Jun 2003

You have been really messed about.

I think you'd have real difficulty getting a full refund after this time, but I believe that Dell has failed in their service and support to you, so should offer some recompense.

I would also suggest that you read this article click here

It might help you to get somewhere if yu take note of the communications director's name and use that when contacting them.

  bfoc 16:23 04 Jun 2003

You have been really messed about.

I think you'd have real difficulty getting a full refund after this time, but I believe that Dell has failed in their service and support to you, so should offer some recompense.

I would also suggest that you read this article click here

It might help you to get somewhere if yu take note of the communications director's name and use that when contacting them.

  bfoc 16:24 04 Jun 2003

For the double post, only clicked once so can't explain what happened!

  Andrew P 15:01 15 Jun 2003

Greatly appreciated.

Just another quick update.

I sent a letter recorded delivery to Dell on Wednesday 4th June. According to the royal mail website, it was delivered to Dell in Bracknell on Friday 6th June. As of yet I?ve had no reply. On the same Wednesday I opened the replacement computer. I found that, in addition to everything listed above, the new computer:

Didn?t have Office XP Small Business as specified (It had Works 7.0 Instead),

Didn?t have a CD-RW drive as specified, just the DVD drive,

Didn?t have any Anti-Virus software,

Didn?t have any CD Burning software,

Didn?t have the Dell Windows XP disk,

And finally, had lower quality speakers (HK-395 not HK-695 as specified).

All of the above WERE included with my original computer, and Debjani confirmed that they would be included with the replacement, which wasn?t the case.

I haven?t actually switched the computer on, but I suspect that, if I do, I will find even more ?problems? like the ones above.

Every attempt to contact Dell to get a satisfactory outcome has been ignored, as though they don?t care. I don?t believe customer service can get any worse than this, especially after everything that?s happened in the last 1½ years. If Dell don?t respond to my letter by next week, then the only option left seems to be the Small Claims Court. Hopefully this will have a successful outcome. I?ll keep you posted on any news?

Thanks everyone,
Andrew P. :o)

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